Even the Ravens, however, may land a free-agent safety who sparks memories of the following Pro Bowl safety from their past.
From the year when Ed Reed will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Earl Thomas and Tyrann Mathieu would be the available safeties who best match what Baltimore desires from the secondary. Thomas has drawn comparisons to Reed throughout his career due to his great range, also Mathieu has been for this 2004 NFL defensive player of the year as a result of his nose to the ball (in addition they share the same hometown of New Orleans).
The Ravens are seeking a safety who provide leadership can patrol the center of the field and deliver plays after cutting on Weddle on Wednesday. For that reason, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Baltimore reach to Mathieu or even Thomas on Monday, the first day when teams may get agents that are free.
Thomas, 30, has intercepted 28 passes and moved to six Pro Bowls in two seasons with all the Seattle Seahawks. He always covered a lot of ground in one deep safety defense, which would allow Ravens safety Tony Jefferson to play nearer to the line of scrimmage.
The concern with Thomas is durability. His left leg has been broken twice (in 2016 and 2018), also he’s missed 19 games within the previous three seasons. But this accident history could lead to a price that is lower.
Mathieu, 27, is considered one of the best three safeties if he reaches free agency. Even the Houston Texans are trying to make a push to re-sign himand Mathieu has expressed a desire to stay.
Mathieu, A defender may play slot or cornerback corner but he lined up in free safety for the Texans. He broke up 49 passes in six months (just 13 interceptions) and has started 33 straight games.
The Ravens know the need for the positioning, while some teams might not put significance on safeties. Baltimore defenses comprised Pro-Bowl safeties, from Rod Woodson to Reed to Weddle.
What usually gets overlooked is the way that Weddle stabilized the security spot . After the Ravens parted ways with Reed after a 2012 Super Bowl season, they proceeded through nine starting safeties over the subsequent few seasons from failed free-agent signings (Michael Huff, James Ihedigbo, Kendrick Lewis) to draft busts (Matt Elam and Terrence Brooks).
Weddle immediately made the drama which the Ravens had struggled to produce without Reed and came in 2016. Weddle’s 10 interceptions in his first two seasons in Baltimore directed all NFL safeties.
“Eric Weddle is just the softball soccer player, the consummate leader,” coach John Harbaugh said each day after the Ravens released Weddle. “He will go down in history such as that. I think he ought to be in the Hall of Fame.”
But Weddle recorded three passes defensed and did not create an interception last season. The Ravens handled less than 1-3 interceptions for the third time in five seasons.
The Ravens find themselves at the market for a safety. Baltimore expects it may hit on another free-agent safety such as Weddle, or perhaps signal Reed-like qualities on some one.